Macquarie Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project field day

Photo credit: E Grabham
Photo credit: E Grabham

A special merino field day in Trangie will feature the ewe progeny from 16 diverse industry sires making up the 2018 drop.

The Macquarie Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project field day on July 10, will be hosted by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) at Trangie Agricultural Research Centre.

To show the influence ewe type has on progeny, field day visitors will see the 2018 drop ewes displayed both in sire groups and ewe base type, making for 32 groups in total.

The Macquarie ewe base is made up of two bloodlines of contrasting skin type and levels of wrinkle.

The field day will also feature several guest speakers including AWI Director Don MacDonald who will provide an AWI update, and Sarah Blumer from Murdoch University who will outline Maternal Efficiency in Merinos.

NSW DPI MLP Site Manager Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton will provide an overview of the site, and walk through how to interpret the project results.

A pen-side sire introduction by the site's Professional sheep classer Chris Bowman and AMSEA's Ben Swain is sure to provoke lively debate.

David Greig, the new site chairman said this field day is a unique opportunity to see two different types of ewes joined with 16 different sires so attendees can get hands-on with 32 different bloodline combinations.

"If you're in the west of the state and thinking of restocking this day will let you inspect a lot of different genetics together in the one place," he said.

The AWI funded MLP project is a 10-year partnership between AWI, the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA), nominating stud Merino breeders and site hosts.

The Macquarie site is hosted by the NSW DPI in conjunction with the Macquarie Sire Evaluation Association.

The MLP project has been designed to capture lifetime Merino ewe data from diverse environments, genetics and Merino types to help the Australian Merino industry better select for and deliver improved lifetime performance outcomes.

The participating ram breeders in the Macquarie 2018 drop include: Anderson Rams, Centre Plus Poll, Charinga, Glen Donald, GRASS Merino, Gullen Gamble Poll, Haddon Rig, Hazeldean, Kerin Poll, Langdene, Lewisdale Poll, Orrie Cowrie, Roseville Park, Stockman Poll, Wanganella and Willandra Poll. Latest results from the Macquarie 2017 drop will also be available on the day.

The MLP project runs at five sire evaluation sites where sire evaluation operates for the first two years and then continue tracking performance of ewe progeny as they proceed through four to five joinings and annual shearings.

A full suite of assessments will be undertaken during the project including visual trait scoring, classer gradings, the objective assessment of a range of key traits and index evaluations.

Register via Sheep Connect: https://sheepconnectnsw.com.au/events/470/

For more details, please call Sally Packham on 0428 822 045 or email macquariesireeval@gmail.com